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Holonovel: Journeying Through Middle Earth

Posted on Sun Mar 24th, 2024 @ 6:14pm by Captain Shran dh'Klar & Lieutenant Commander Shoniara T’ghann-Travis Dr & Lieutenant Inara Senn & Lieutenant JG Kate Kono

Mission: Lost & Found
Location: Holodeck 2 - Middle Earth

It had been a beautiful night in Rivendell, but now the dawn had come and the time for adventure arrived with it. The Elves had offered a simple breakfast, or at least simple to some, made up only of lembas bread and water. Shran had thanked Elrond and his kin for the hospitality, and they were now readying themselves to leave, very soon venturing off into the wilds. They would be safe while in the Elven lands, but that safety was not as clear as it might have once been. Shran knew full well that the growing storm of Sauron would soon smash upon Gondor, and his forces were everywhere it seemed, and growing bolder. Checking one last time that his gear was properly stowed on his horse, he looked back at the others, "Are we ready to proceed?"

Ayana mounted her horse with ease and looked the part. "Ready captain."

Deanna gracefully got on her horse. "Ready as well" she said simply.

"Careful Deanna. If he doesn't like you." Inara gracefully mounted her horse. "He might find a mudpatch somewhere to buck you off it." More of Inara poking and proding Deanna.

Kate climbed her horse and looked around for the start button. She figured it'd be somewhere behind its ear. She leaned in and whispered.

"Do you have gears? Or is there like a wheel?" The only answer she got was the sound of a slick, wet plop. Kate twisted around to see what caused it and then she turned back to talk behind the horse's ears. "Okay I guess not."

Shon was already up on her rested and fed stallion who was prancing around eager to begin the journey. Shon turned to Kate the start of laughter beginning at the corner of her mouth. “Gather up your reins, hold the front of your saddle if you need to and try to grip with your thighs.” She began to laugh, “Once you’ve fallen off a few times you’ll learn quickly.” Shon made sure her sword was safely sheathed and gathered her shield up into the crook of her arm her pack safely secured onto her pommel.

As they began to ride Deanna looked to Inara, "Be sure you don't fall behind. I'm sure you wouldn't want to be victim to a orc raiding party, or perhaps falling from your horse after Warg riders attack."

Ayana rode aside Kate, "Heed the advice of Shon. Riding a horse is fairly simple, once you get used to it. Thankfully, we shouldn't have to battle on horseback much."

"Squeeze with my thighs to get it going forward?" Kate asked. Kate tried and nothing happened. She eventually figured out that she needed to tap the horse on the sides a little, and pulling on the rope thingy on its head made it slow down. "Okay and if I need to turn, I guess there's rudders?" Kate knew she was joking, but she also knew she didn't know.

"Didn't you ever ride horses growing up?" Ayana asked. "We rode them all the time in Louisiana and Texas."

They travelled through woods and rocky terrain, crossing the river and leaving Elven lands as they made their way to the land of dragons.

The sun hung lazily on the horizon as dusk tried to make her way past the lowering sun, it's last beams filtering through the trees heavy with leaves. Small insects whispered and flitted around them along with a lone bird trying to catch a late meal. Shon could feel the tiredness developing in her stallion, they had been riding hard for two days without much stay or sleep. She glanced back at the group as she had been taking point ahead, turned back and rode towards them.

"The mountains are to the east, hard riding should see us there in three days. It looks like a storm is coming in however so ii would recommend camping here for the night?"

"I agree. We have a small clearing ahead that is also a defensible position and will give us at least partial cover from the elements should a storm indeed blow in. We can make camp there" Shran replied.

Kate tried to walk after stepping off the horse and found that she was very stiff from the encounter.

"Kinda reminds me of the day I rose a Jet Ski for three hours straight," Kate mused as she fumbled to get one leg in front of the other. She knew she looked like a complete novice, because she was. "If anyone asks, just tell them I had relations with a handsome man or something. In Japan it's called saving face." She explained as she fell over forward since she couldn't squat without just dropping to the ground. She laid down flat in front of the fire and smiled to herself as she looked up at the sky. The storm might be coming but for now, the stars shined as she lay her head on the dirt and smile up at the sky.

"What the hell kind of constallations are those?!" She raised one side of her lip up and squinted. "Cooool..."

Shon reached into her pack and produced a small beautifully designed pot. She handed it to Kate, “this will help the sore legs. Rub just a little into the affected areas, not too much mind or it will have the same effect as strong alcohol. This was given to me by King Theoden himself before he was struck low.”

Deanna and Ayana laid the wood for the fire into a proper form. Deanna went to grab her cooking pot as Ayana went to grab her flint & steel, and suddenly Shran launched a fireball at the wood, igniting the wood into a pillar of flame. He offered a soft chuckle as the sudden burst of flame seemed to shock most everyone else. "Fire's up" he said with a grin.

Kate giggled and pulled out a bottle of lighter fluid. She spritzed the fire with it and the flames started shooting even higher into the air. If she had thought harder about technology that the Holodeck might not have automatically dematerialized, she would have thought about bringing a water pistol to store the flame stoking power of one of the few substances that the holodeck didn't flag as a "modern" technology.

"Hehehe I came prepared!" Kate had a special affinity for pyromania. Perhaps it was just her everlasting drive to satisfy a long-dead stereotype of her people that had gone dormant since the turn of the centuries before Humanity became more civilized; nevertheless, Kate managed to rekindle it both figuratively and literally as the hot wind whooshed and flames threatened to lick the constellations of the sky like an obscene lover who was about to get laid in a no holds session of hot love.

The flames died down as the large bottle hissed its last stream of tormented goodness while the flames were more reminiscent of a jet engine rather than a serene element of camper's delight. Once the fire had died down to something almost considered normal, people were once again able to talk without the roar of the inferno drowning out the beauty of the comradery.

"I've never been camping before! This is fun! I'm out of lighter fluid though." Kate tried to get up to go to the arch, but her legs were still too sore.

The slender Ensign reached into her bag to see if she had more, but she fell back to the ground and sighed happily. "Yeah, I'm out. Hey! Are Marshmallows around?"

"How did the computer allow lighter fluid?" questioned Ayana.

"Unknown. Perhaps something to check out before we have another fire" Deanna replied, offering a sly grin towards Kate. "Unless the plan was to in fact burn the woods to the ground."

Ayana looked over at Shran. "Wait, we are getting sidetracked. Captain, you seemed dressed more like a warrior, but you just did something that in this world is meant to be for wizards. Care to elaborate?"

"I'm Shran the Blue" he replied, then walked to the fire and warmed his hands.

Deanna chuckled. Ayana looked dumbfounded. "So, not just a clever description of yourself" she replied as it began to make sense to her.

Shon stood and checked on the horses, truth said she enjoyed this part of their holodeck adventures. The freedom to ride and the freedom to be a person so different from the one she was in real life. She patted the tied horses one by one and was about to return to the fire. Her back shivered and something caused her to turn and look out into the darkness. Somewhere out there a light flared and then went out. Something howled in the darkness, a sound that made her blood run cold. Returning quickly to the group she looked at her friends enjoying themselves.

“We need to post a guard, there is something out there and it may be tracking us. Keep the fire and conversation low.” She unsheathed her sword and returned to the edge of their camp. Sitting in the hollow of a tree, somewhat sheltered from the cold wind that had begun to drift over the landscape she noted a mist that was not traveling in the direction of the wind. She pulled her cloak around her and waited.

Shran became very quiet as he began to sense something in the distance, stalking them. He moved closer to the fire and reached his left hand in the direction of his horse and a staff he had buckled came flying across the distance into his hand. He stared into the fire intently and began to mumble lowly, almost as if he was going into a trance.

Shon stood as the noise began to echo in the trees. then it came, a long throaty growl and the clash of steel. She moved back quietly to the group. "Wargs!" she exclaimed softly, "Put the fire out and prepare for a fight.

Kate sighed and rolled to her side, lifted her legs to her chest and then rolled to her feet. She groaned as she forced herself up and grabbed two throwing knives from her belt. Considering she was so worn out and sore, she knew that whatever these creatures, these 'Wargs' were, one would certainly be coming for her first. She flipped her blade in hand and held it halfway up. From her to the tree line was a three and a half flip throw; not impossible, but she knew that on three flips the knife was likely to catch enough air to lose the energy she put into it. She pulled her fingers back to prepare for two flips, but she knew by then, if whatever it was, was fast, might close that distance, so she settled on a single flip throw. It would be too fast for anything to evade but she'd have to wait until her attacker was close enough to be in the light. She pulled her fingers back to the top of the blade rather than halfway up, which would require her to throw it like a baseball to impart the speed needed to one-turn the blade to target, but at that speed, the blade was going to absolutely dig into whatever she threw it at.

The eyes showed first, not just one pair, but at least four pair. She saw the one on the far left, the pair of red burning eyes on the darkness. Those eyes were for her. She prepared her throw while wondering what the heck a Warg was. Kate soon found out as it emerged from the darkness at the same time the others did. Kate focused on hers, the thing looked like a werewolf, long snout, glistening teeth, dark fur standing on end, and razor-sharp claws. Kate held her ground and counted the distance covered by the beast and she brought her arm back and aimed under its neck. She threw so hard that the knife made a sick smack as it penetrated the things neck and found its way to the bone. Kate jumped out of the way and nearly landed on the fire as the beast howled a gargled shriek through its knife pierced larynx.

Kate rolled to her feet and launched the next knife right into its ear. The knife slammed through the cartridge and pinned the ear to the back of it'd skull. Kate wasted no time as she pulled her Karambit and rushed the creature as it stumbled in that critical moment where it realized Kate wasn't a bite-sized happy meal with legs. The little girl knew she had to go to work before the FIBS (F*** I've Been Stabbed) factor wore off. Kate fingered through the metal ring on the Karambit with her left index finger and angled the knife downward as the beast stumbled to the side. She ran full speed at it and slammed into its side while bringing the curved blade under its front leg. At the same time, she grabbed the knife that was jammed into its larynx and pulled it toward her, one knife opening up the radial artery, the other knife pulling through the carotid artery.

Blood sprayed for a moment while she sunk the knife into the beast again, trying to find the thoracic artery. She knew she found it when the massive blood pump stopped pumping. The best part about killing anyone or anything is that once the thoracic is pierced next to the radial artery, the pump flows internal rather than violently all over the place. Kate crawled on top of its belly and pushed the beasts head aside and felt for the spine. It was roughly where she thought it would be and she dug the bloodied throwing knife into its spine to cut off that special upper-C column that controlled the rest of its body as it bled out. She felt the crack, but she had to get the pop which would indicate that she levered the disc far enough to sever the spine. For all of her eighty-five pounds, she had to lean on the whole knife to get it separated. When the pop finally came, she rolled back to her feet and scanned the campground-turned battlefield to see if anyone else needed help.

Inara's spear skewered one of the beasts and she retrieved it immediately. "I guess we should be flattered we've earned the attention of these beasts" One of them began to gallop towards Inara. She studied the area and she waited for just the right moment. She let loose her spear again and it tripped one of the wargs. Just enough for Inara to draw her short sword when it was on the ground and slash its neck.

Shon headed towards the horses as the noise of thundering warg feet shook the ground. she saw a lone warg approach the plunging frightened horses licking its lips as seeming fire dripped from its jaws. For a moment she wondered why she had not seen any riders of the beasts. "ho doggy!" she shouted as it turned and saw her. Swearing it had smiled at her she held her ground as it charged. Moving to one side she smelled the stink of it as it grazed her side. She turned and slashed it, even as the beast's blood flowed, she cursed herself for she had meant to hamstring it.

The Warg turned even more enraged as Shon suddenly slipped on the mossy ground. She fell back as the beast straddled her. Opening its mouth, she felt its foul breath and saw the razor like canines, its slobber seemed to sizzle as it dripped onto her. The mouth came towards her, and she thrust her sword deep into its mouth and then on into the throat. Shon rolled away as the beast began to claw at its mouth with its feet unable to breathe as the blood flowed into its lungs. it went down hard right onto her leg. Grunting in pain she tried to push it off her eager to return to the fight.

Despite the wargs attacking and everyone appearing to be in combat, Shran had remained motionless to this point, still squatting in hand in front of the fire with the staff and looking as if he were in a trance. The noticeably absent warg riders finally made an appearance, in the fringe of the tree line, a quartet of them appeared. Finally, Shran rose and turned and looked at the orcs and slammed his staff to the ground, and the ground shook violently for a moment, and then a fissure opened up beneath them and they seemed to be swallowed by the earth.

With all the visible enemies dispatched, Deanna tended to Shon as Ayana checked the perimeter to ensure no stragglers or hidden enemies remained. With everything appearing complete, Deanna dressed the minor wound of Shon as they prepared for the night watch.


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